Ph Dropping!!??

LordGrace

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Had a 55 gallon tank 8 harliquin 7 red tail zebra loaches 8 tetras and a placo. 2 weeks ago we had a tank crash. the tank has been running since November we didnt add fish till january and only introduced one type at a time only adding the tetras a week before the crash. We know the crash was bc we didn't clean the gravel well enough (nooby error and now fixed) but lost all but 3 harliquin in 2 days. After day 2 we went and got a 5 gallon tank for the surviving fish till the 55 is stable again.

PROBLEM: PH keeps dropping !!! when we started the 5 gallon we added about 1.5 gallons from the old tank and the rest was fresh water. They have been in this tank a week and 2 days ago the ph started to drop. There is nothing else in the tank no plants, no gravel, no decorations. Now the ph is around 6.8 -7.0 but out of no where it drops below 6.0 today we had to add ph up 3 times because of the drop. I know if this keeps up it will kill the fish ! But I have no idea what could be causing the drop. Anything will help!!

Also ammonia is 0 nitrite 0 and nitrate below 5.
 

Jenoli42

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LordGrace said:
Had a 55 gallon tank 8 harliquin 7 red tail zebra loaches 8 tetras and a placo. 2 weeks ago we had a tank crash. the tank has been running since November we didnt add fish till january and only introduced one type at a time only adding the tetras a week before the crash. We know the crash was bc we didn't clean the gravel well enough (nooby error and now fixed) but lost all but 3 harliquin in 2 days. After day 2 we went and got a 5 gallon tank for the surviving fish till the 55 is stable again.

PROBLEM: PH keeps dropping !!! when we started the 5 gallon we added about 1.5 gallons from the old tank and the rest was fresh water. They have been in this tank a week and 2 days ago the ph started to drop. There is nothing else in the tank no plants, no gravel, no decorations. Now the ph is around 6.8 -7.0 but out of no where it drops below 6.0 today we had to add ph up 3 times because of the drop. I know if this keeps up it will kill the fish ! But I have no idea what could be causing the drop. Anything will help!!

Also ammonia is 0 nitrite 0 and nitrate below 5.
Welcome to fishlore and i'm sorry you're having troubles.

Are you quite sure your cycle crash wasn't also related to your pH dropping? i would bet it is. bear with me because we had the same thing happen to us.

1. buy an API kH/gH testing kit. test water in both of your tanks and also directly from your tap.
2. test the pH of your water directly from your tap. (you might need to do a "true" pH test but we'll get to that later if needed).

I suspect your water has low kH. that means your pH will swing and in tanks it often drops. you might find that the pH of your 55 is more stable than your 5 precisely because it has decorations in there or other buffers.

what's the pH of your 55? does the gravel in your 55 affect pH?

there are easy ways to fix this, but you should test first to figure out the source of the problem.

you may also want to buy fish safe mesh filter bags and some crushed coral or oyster grit and cuttlefish bone. all of those naturally (and gradually) raise kH (and therefore pH) and can increase gH.

the biggest problem is NOT that the drop in pH will kill your fish. it's that it can kill off your beneficial bacteria and cause your cycle to crash. that will kill your fish.

fish can adjust to gradual changes in pH just fine, but they need the pH to be stable/consistent more than anything.

i hope this helps
 
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LordGrace

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Thank you i will pick up a test kit today.

The PH in my 55 did drop as well during the crash but it was at the end of day 2 we ended up putting in a whole bottle of ph enhancer and the ph was still below 6 that's y we moved to the new tank. What killed the fish was a crazy ammonia spike. We did a 2/3 water change on the 55 I'll check it's new ph when I get home.
Also my substrate in the 55 is imagitarium aquatic substrate. So shouldnt be affecting anything.
 

Jenoli42

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LordGrace said:
Thank you i will pick up a test kit today.

The PH in my 55 did drop as well during the crash but it was at the end of day 2 we ended up putting in a whole bottle of ph enhancer and the ph was still below 6 that's y we moved to the new tank. What killed the fish was a crazy ammonia spike. We did a 2/3 water change on the 55 I'll check it's new ph when I get home.
Also my substrate in the 55 is imagitarium aquatic substrate. So shouldnt be affecting anything.
i don't use pH bottled products because they don't work, never last & can shock fish.

once we figure out your kH, we can recommend better more stable stuff. like i said, crushed coral & oyster grit & cuttle bone can help, but you might find you need SeaChem alkaline buffer depending on your kH.

when our pH dropped, our cycle crashed & the resulting ammonia spike killed everything.... just re read your post & sounds like the spike caused the drop? hmmm
 
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LordGrace

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Update: GH test was 140 and kh was like 0 what are the best methods to get then stable and the ph in the 55 is 6.0 as well or lower my test kit doesn't go below 6
 

Fashooga

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Get some crush coral. I had a tank that crashed, killed my fish. Bought crush coral and saved the remaining fish I have.

1 cup to 40 gallons.
 

Jenoli42

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LordGrace said:
Update: GH test was 140 and kh was like 0 what are the best methods to get then stable and the ph in the 55 is 6.0 as well or lower my test kit doesn't go below 6
there are good suggestions above. my method for our tap rainwater which is 0kH out of the tap was:

2 x small fishsafe mesh bags of oyster grit directly in our filter
1x cuttlefish bone in the tank somewhere (they don't sink for weeks, so weigh it down...be aware it can also increase gH which seems to be fine)
but that's gradual and like @TexasGuppy said, can take a while.

in the short term, you can use baking soda but be aware that any chemicals like baking soda a little goes a long way.

i bought seachem alkaline buffer and then bought acid buffer to go with it so i didn't raise the kH (which directly increases pH) too quickly. i learned this the hard way. again, little goes a long way.

you want to increase by no more than about .3 pH per 24 hours. so you'll want to dose as per the directions on the bottle to target between 6 and 6.5pH. then the next time, raise to between 6.5 - 6.8. etc. until you get to where you want to be. i found stability in our tanks with a kH of 3 drops, which is equivalant for us to a pH of between 7.2-7.4

hope this helps.
 
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LordGrace

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I'll add baking soda at lunch and pick up some crushed coral after work. I like the idea of natural solutions then constantly adding chemicals.

with all ur help we will have the last of Legion (my 3 harliqiun) thank you
 
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